EAST COAST RAPPIN – PART 2

The afternoon remained warm and humid, but in the 70′s. We did errands such as picking up their new phat screen tv (sweet) and I think that my sister is the only person who could spend 2 hrs in the produce section of a supermarket. Granted it is Whole Foods, but seriously, they’re vegetables.
Jings and I then went to check in my bike at the port. It is a nice setup in a shipyard that is fully enclosed where they often hold boat shows. The bikes can be left overnight and were shelted if there was rain. All your gear would remain dry too. We met Amy who is the marketing person at Tri-Maine who did the feature story on me and she was really down to earth. She mentioned there would be almost 400 people in this event – a record.
Back home we went where Jings then grilled a serious piece of hallibut that tasted great! Gotta have fish when in Maine and Anjie didn’t disappoint either with her grilled veggies (that she carefully selected of course at the market). We didn’t have to get up early since the race started at 8:30 so Jings and I saw Scarface for some last minute motivation. “Look at my little toy!”

Off to sleep I went and deep too. I felt fine and relaxed. My goal is to let it rip and redline it as long as I can. But will the rain hold up? No control on that one. 
I woke up at 5am and heard the sound of rain on the window sill. I knew that wasn’t good and tried to roll over and get the mind set while catching a few extra winks. No luck. The sun comes up at 5:20 here and though cloudy, the room gets bright quick. But I took a few minutes to prepare for the worst in the weather and know I still planned to go hard.
I made my way downstairs and both were up already. They said it poured hard most of the night but now settled into a foggy, misty, drizzle. It was way humid, sorry – wicked humid - and in the 60′s. Fine by me. My main concern now was how the roads were and the water temp.

Jings dropped me off to get all set as he went back to get Anjie (she takes her time with these things). I was all done in 15 minutes. I had a minimal setup since I wasn’t wearning much nor had to add anything. I did omit the shades since there was no use for them today. I loosened up to stay warm and scope the area and people around. Very efficient and organized. Athletes compliant. So far so good – still drizzle though.
When they came back we took the warm up walk of a half mile to the beach. This race had you in the water then changing into your sneakers for a half mile run BACK to the transition area. The crowds gathered and settled on to the beach. The fog lifted so sighting wouldn’t be a problem. But the water temperature was 61 DEGREES!! That’s the coldest I’ve ever swam in, even when coming here for Lobsterman when it got to 65.
Got a little concerned and started to put my suit on to stay warm and brought an extra swim cap to keep my head warm. I lathered up all over in Aquaphor to make for a slick, warm, and moisturized machine.  I was in the third wave (36-44 yr olds) and after the director gave everyone instructions, I made my way to the beach. Quick hug from the crew and made sure to put my feet in the water, splash it on my face and get waist deep to shock the system a bit. This was cold. If anything, it makes me swim faster, but with a beach start with 40+ other people, it will get physical too.
As the first 2 waves went off, I made some “adjustments” to make my wetsuit a little warmer. Now I positioned myself way left since I didn’t think they’d let you run along the beach for much and the first bouy was a left turn. Sounds good. Three deep breaths and we were off.

The shock of the water was instant, but surprisingly not much. Ever swim in a pool of ice water? I was more concerned when I saw a good bunch STILL RUNNING ALONG THE SHORE!  Damn! Actually, it worked out better for me. I turned on the gas and actually was in my grove enough to get ahead of the pack. I hit the first bouy with no one in sight.
Soon enough I was catching people in the wave ahead. Knowing this was the 18-34 wave, I kinda did my share of physicality to get ahead of some people, especially near the bouys. I kicked and churned. I was fine and warm. No chill. I think a few guys were ahead of me in my age group but I just wanted to get moving and avoid a downpour if it came. The half-mile swim to 17+ minutes.
I was going to keep my suit on and run to transition that way, but it was actually warmer out of the water so I slipped off the suit and threw on my old 1063′s and blasted for the bike. I passed people who were mostly the wave in front of me and already had a 3 minute head start. I knew I was in good position but would I keep it once on the bike? It was raining now and I was quickly on the bike and up the hill. I was familiar with the course since I’ve trained out here before, but it was slick, wet, and the rain kept coming down. I geared up the Black Widow and dropped my hammer.

Once you cleared a steep downhill (which cause a serious wobble effect that got me a bit scared), the game was on. My heartrate was up and it was comfortable to breath, focus, and keep the pace. There was a section where you did 2 loops so you could keep tabs on anyone up front. I didn’t care once I realized I was continuing to pass people and no one was passing me. I focused on keeping one dude in sight since he was going a good clip and he had a fast looking bike. The rain continued to pound as the grimaced expressions on other riders faces was not of pain but the pelting in the eyes of droplets. Including my own.
I knew a big time hill was off the second lap and once we finished that section, I passed some more folks, even the nice bike dude. I pounced the Widow in a big gear right up the hill which got up to 12% grade. then it was downhill to the transition area again. Safe and sound – bike time 38:00.

I slipped on my Size 7 Womens Skylons and shot out like a cannon. My heartrate stayed in the 160-170 range but after one small climb it was a flat course. Pac-Manning was in full effect and the rain actually stopped. I just kept ripping. The markers were out of position and a portion of the run was on a muddy trail. The run went quick that by mile 3 I had 2 dudes to pass and didn’t think I had enough room to do so. I was seriously looking at each person’s age on their legs as I passed people. No one from my age group. I had to pass these guys just in case.
I happened to pass the second guy with 200 yards to go and both weren’t in my group. I charged past the finish in a time of 1:18. My run split for 4 miles was 20:44!! For full results go to www.urban-epic.com 

I saw Amy who was handing out not medals – but press pass type “medals” that were definitely unique and cool. It listed the event and everything. I met Anjie and we continued to chat while we waited for Jingles who was grabbing a coffee. What a race! I say that in a great way! I raced hard and fast and it was a great test to gauge my fitness after Buffalo Springs. AND it stopped raining! No sun, but mild enough for us all to enjoy the band playing at the festival right on one of the main docks. It was a perfect place for everyone to hang out and recover after such an event, and no one would have stayed if it remained miserable weather.
We shared stories and sat by the water watching the boats on the dock and lobsterboats dropping their cages. I made the calls to Gina for the update and I just wanted to hear her voice. She knew it had been raining and I wanted to celebrate a great finish with her. Turns out I came in the top ten overall and WON my age group!!!
The announcers made note I was from Charlotte and after the awards Amy called up all their 10 Featured Athletes on stage for a photo. The age group award was a hand crafted bike cog attached to a loop which added to the unique aspects of the Urban Epic. I even met a woman from Greeensboro who won an age group award in her first tri racing for Team in Training. Another great race management feature – they had a big water fountain elimnating the need to hand out water bottles, and they had several sections with 3 designated garbage cans for recycling purposes – GUARDED by a volunteer who made sure you threw it in the righ spot. Nice.

Sipping my potions, we walked back the mile to get my bike and gear and Anjie reluctantly held my wetsuit until Jings came with the truck. She did use a port-o-john though. We got back and after a nice shower, it was time for java, BioFreeze, and due to a nasty bleeding toe bister on the top of my foot – a coating of Aquaphor. And a small good piece of a Whoopie Pie.
The sun is now out, Jings and I are watching baseball, and I will soon get to drive the sis’s Suburu to church while the crew takes a nap. Then I get to clean the bike (and wetsuit hanging on the tree outside) before another great home cooked meal and probably an early bedtime. Tomorrow I plan to take the Black Widow for a easy ride to/from Freeport just for the sake of riding and staying loose. I expect to be sore a little later on, but it was worth it on this blessed day.

0 Responses to “EAST COAST RAPPIN – PART 2”


  1. No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.